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A story about Love - ISI DAVIS

posted 23 Aug 2016, 23:00 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin

Bimah Matters: “A story about Love”  by ISI DAVIS



Our condolences on the recent passing of Isi’s brother in law Dr. G Remocker.


Here’s the short version, read this past Shabbat:


A few weeks ago my grandson asked me to play soccer.  He was well aware that in my earlier years I played soccer at university and later coached both my boys for several years. Off we went to the park to have some fun. . It was a hot and muggy evening, and I requested that we have a rest. We went over to the bench and enjoyed a cool breeze that was blowing in from a nearby tree. I told him that I loved the way he played, and that he could out maneuver me on occasion.  Then it happened, he asked me what is love. I had to think for a moment, and tried to answer, in the context he asked the question. I don’t think he fully understood my answer, and he said that he still did not know what love was,   could he touch it,   could he feel it   or could he see it.  It was left at that,    and we continued to play soccer.
That evening, I thought about the question. The next morning I went to my computer,   and looked up the word love.    There were so many definitions that truly, they all made sense, BUT I still was not satisfied by the answers,    by both scientist and clergy.


Scientific view:
Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition, like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. We talk about love being blind or unconditional, in a sense, we have no control over it.     THAT,    is not so surprising, since love is basically chemistry.


Religious view:
And you shall love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Love is the central theme of torah
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
G-d exists in all of us, including our neighbors.

I picked up the local newspaper a few days later and noticed an article BewareThe Celebrity Carat Curse. (Toronto Star)


When Miranda Kerr, dined out over the weekend, cameras pointed at her finger. The ring became the fixation of the media. Kerr was not the only celebrity to flash her ring, Pippa Middleton was snapped up by the tabloids wearing an engagement ring while she was jogging. “The article further goes on to say,    that while no doubt thrilled to be engaged,    they should also be mindful of the way we can now safely call the celebrity carat curse. That is because the psychological impetus to buy and display preposterous finger jewelry always points to a spiritual void that is not fully grasped by these celebrity couples. That is, because they believe size matters.  They don’t realize how they are inadvertently monetizing their love in a way that will negatively impact all future emotional transaction during time of marital stress.  

I should have realized it at the time, but I think I had the answer when my grandson asked me the question, what is love.


Love is respect, not being possessive, there is no envy or jealousy, love being together,    and having lots of fun.   I was having fun playing with my grandson.    I don’t think he would have understood that at the time.


I wonder what would have happened,    if we had played tennis     and I yelled out     LOVE


The longer version with a psychological twist:

A few weeks ago my grandson asked me to play soccer.  He was well aware that in my earlier years I played soccer at university and later coached both my boys for several years. Off we went to the park to have some fun. . It was a hot and muggy evening and I requested that we have a rest. We went over to the bench and enjoyed a cool breeze that was blowing in from a nearby tree. I told him that I loved the way he played and that he could out maneuver me on occasion with his quick footwork.  Then it happened, he asked me what love is. I had to think for a moment and tried to answer, in the context he asked the question. I don’t think he fully understood my answer and he said that he did not know what love was, could he touch it, could he feel it or could he see it. It was left at that and we continued to play soccer.


That evening, I thought about the question. The next morning I went to my computer and looked up the word love. There were so many definitions that truly, they all made sense but I still was not satisfied by the answers given by both scientist and clergy.


From a scientific view:
Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. We talk about love being blind or unconditional, in the sense that we have no control over it. But then, that is not so surprising, since love is basically chemistry.


From a religious view:
And you shall love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might.


Love is the central theme of the torah
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


From my perspective, G-d is in all of us including our neighbour.


I picked up the local newspaper a few days later and noticed an article Beware the Celebrity Carat Curse.  (Toronto Star)


When Miranda Kerr dined out over the weekend cameras pointed at her finger. The ring became the fixation of the media. Kerr was not the only celebrity to flash her ring, Pippa Middleton was snapped up by the tabloids wearing an engagement ring while she was jogging. “The article further goes on to say that while no doubt thrilled to be engaged, they should also be mindful of the way we can now safely call the celebrity carat curse. That is because the psychological impetus to buy and display preposterous finger jewelry always points to a spiritual void that is not fully grasped by these celebrity couples. That is because they believe size matters.  They don’t realize how they are inadvertently monetizing their love in a way that will negatively impact all future emotional transaction during time of marital stress.  


Is love material wealth, is it someone who wants to possess someone else. I was still having difficulty with the question. Everywhere we look we are seduced by society trying to market love.


A week later while sitting on a plane to Vancouver, the individual beside me, told me that he lost his wife a few years ago and that he tried to find someone who he could love again. He tried to go on dates and some lasted a few months, but he could not find someone he could love.  He told me that after a while he no longer believed in love.  This was an ordinary man just like you and me. What made this man different was his way of thinking. This man had a lot of experience trying to find love. Much of his time was spent searching for love, only to find that it did not exist.  This man appeared to be quite intelligent, he told me that he was a university professor, nevertheless he was unhappy. So the best I could do was listen and show some interest. His logic seemed to be very strong. He further said that love was like a drug, it was capable of making him very high and could be highly addictive. He made me think, what would happened if he never received his daily dose of love. He made me realized that the one who had the most need for love was the one that was addicted and the one that had little need controlled the whole relationship.


When I looked up the definition of love related to Judaism, there were several answers, but the one that struck me the most was the one standing under the chopa and when the rabbi says, will you take this person and love them with all your heart in good times and in bad, love them and respect them. What is amazing is that couples believe these promises and make more promises. What you find after a while that few of these promises are kept, and the war of words start to take control. Who will be the provider and who becomes the addicted. The pain over time grows and grows. They stay together because they are afraid to be alone, afraid of others opinions and judgments.


I thought later what would happen if he found someone who also did not believe love existed. I went on further to imagine what would happen if they married had children, he was devoted to his job and she was devoted to their children. He continued to develop his career and made his success and image outside the home, which was very important to him. After a while they both grew apart and they discovered that they did not need each other anymore. She stayed at home as the children needed a mother. Now the children were grown and left the house. After a while they reconfirmed that love does not exist. We look for love and we open our hearts and become vulnerable, just to find selfishness.


I should have realized it at the time, but I think I had the answer when my grandson asked me the question, what is love.


Love is respect, not being possessive, there is no envy or jealousy, love being together and having lots of fun. I was having fun playing with my grandson.  I don’t think he would have understood that at the time.


I wonder what would have happened if we had played tennis and I yelled out LOVE


(Great passion Isi, thanks)


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